American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:29 am

American annoucned today that they will remove two (2) rows of Coach seating on all aircraft's starting with all the Domestic Flt to be completed by November of this year and all the International Flt by the end of 2001. This means a total removal for some 7,000 plus seat system wide. This add almost 5 to 6 inches per row in the Coach cabin on all aircraft!!!!!!!

Any thought's on this major change to the leg room in Coach????

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:38 am

Bad news for non-revs, and AMR shareholders.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:42 am

OH, I'm sure they'll make up the "Rev" by increasing the "Fare," so you'll have more room for your "legs" AND more room in your "wallet."
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Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:46 am

United already did this for their premier/high mileage flyers by creating an "Economy Plus" section. I'm sure the American's additional legroom will be in the forward section of economy, too, and only for their premier flyers.

United/Star Alliance is leaving American in the dust. American does nothing "innovative" on its own. has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 1:48 am

Sorry Bicoastal. American's enhancement will cover the entire aircraft. Every seat in the main cabin will hae thencreased pitch, which wil range from 34-36 inches. 7,200 seats wil be removed to increase pitch on 75,000 remaining seats. This means that about 12% of the seats will be removed, which is more than would be rquired for a few rows of premium Y.

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 1:50 am

Let me rephrase that, actually. It ust not be all seats that are being redone, because a pressrelease says that only 98% of the seats will have more legoom than the idustry standard.

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 2:10 am

Here's an exerpt from Don Carty's comments at the press confrence that tells us how much of the seats will have expanded legroom:



The release also says tha 98% of seats will have pitch of33" or more (ibove industry standard of 32") and 58% will have at least 34". The only two fleet types notbing edone, which account for the 2% that won't be above industry standard, are the DC-10 and the MD-11.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 4:34 am

There are two different strategies going on here. First, you have the AA strategy of making the coach cabin tolerable, regarless of where you sit. Second, you have the UAL strategy of sucking up to the frequent flyers to make them feel more special.

I think American hit the nail on the head here. They're not going to raise the fares on any routes just to recover the losses from this. They're hoping that more people will fly American because the coach cabin will be more comfortable.

I think UA missed the boat, folks. Let's face it, after you hit a certain level of any frequent flyer program, you tend to forget that coach even exists. As a high-level flyer, you get upgraded so often that it doesn't matter. If the upgrade isn't complimentary, you use a certificate or pay the fee to upgrade your full-fare coach seat for first class. For a high-level flyer, that fee is usually between 25-40 dollars, and that's nothing to the business traveler. If you're working on the flight, most companies will pay for the upgrade. Unless it's a long-haul flight, nobody actually pays for first class tickets anymore.
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TWA Already Tried This...

Fri Feb 04, 2000 5:20 am

TWA tried this in 1995/96 called it comfort class..

It did not work...


RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 5:24 am

Maybe American already found out that in average of all their flights together they would not even miss the two rows per aircraft since many (most?) flights are not completly booked out.
I like their idea very much and next time I visit the US, I will defenetly look for an American-flight to support this step.  
regards cgn.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 6:05 am

I am very positive about this move by AA.

I think the industry is overdue for a change like this. In the 60s and early 70s, economy class on most airlines are more spacious than today. They used to have 2x4x2 seating, instead of 3x4x3 or 2x5x2 on the widebodies. And the seat pitch was wider. Then the energy crisis hit. The first reaction for the airlines was to reduce the seat pitch and try to squeeze more people on a flight. Once the airlines realize that they can get away with such dense seating, it's there to stay; until today.

I am sure more than one airlines have contemplated doing what AA decided to do today, but nobody has the guts to do it. It does require a certain size and global influence to do it. If Southwest does it, no international airlines will be impacted. Even US majors that don't compete with WN will be impacted. Yes, TW tried it. But TW was (and still is) in bad financial shape; and it didn't have the clout as one of the largest airlines in the US with such a extensive global alliance as AA. In fact, I think there are only 5 airlines in the world that are powerful enough to do it and make a difference. AA, UA and DL can each do it on its own; and NW and KL, with their combined force, an attempt it also. It's a brilliant move for AA to do it.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 6:44 am

Its true TWA did try this a while back with their "Comfort Class." I think it did poorly because of a little bad timing. The enviroment in US avaition today is very different. As far as AA copying UAL thats not true. It's in fact backwards. A few years back AA had "Executive Coach" where a few rows were removed for extra room for VIP's and frequent fliers. It was, however, confusing for the regular coach passengers who wondered why the first 4 rows got hot towels, meals, etc.. and they didn't. I think this is going to be great for US avaition and have the rest of the industry playing catch up real fast. Just my 2cents.....

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:07 am

As Cgn pointed out, the 2 rows really shouldn't be missed... AA hasn average load factor of about 70%, meaning that, on average, the loss of 6% of seats will not be that bad. Some of the constanly full routes may be affected, though.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:21 am

WELL WELL! So AA is going to roll out its new roomy coach seating a la TWA's failed Comfort Class with pitches from 34 to 36 inches.
Does anyone remember that ever financially-minded Bob Crandall specifically stated at one time that increasing seat pitch would NEVER bring the airline an increased net as increased revenue would not match the increased cost per seat mile due to the lost opportunity to fill those extra 6.4 percent of seats when the planes ARE flying full during busy times of the year and day. There were extensive studies done to arrive at this conclusion.

The only way, if the studies are NOT correct, for AA to gain a strategic AAvantage would be for no other airline to match AA's increase in seat pitch, giving it a strategic marketing advantage. However, if enough majors did would that be a bad thing? So let's theorize.

I think AA is betting that the rest of this highly competitive industry to follow in its footsteps. Some of the work is done as UA is already cutting its capacity by 3 percent with its Economy Plus product. Now, if US, DL, CO, (and other service minded majors) follow, we could see overall industry capacity being cut by 2 percent or so. Or so means the net affect after capacity additions planned within the industry and carriers such as NW or HP staying the course with their abysmal 31 inch pitch in coach.) Such a cut in overall capacity, allowing it to catch up with demand might prove more profitable for all carriers. But perhaps more for some and less for others.

If US and TW, who have amongst the highest costs follow the AA trend, they will effectively raise their seat mile costs....again...hopefully adding some incremental revenue per seat mile. However, AA gains another AAvantage, by further weakening these carriers because they are more exposed to low cost carriers. In other words, they must compete with AA and others with a full service product, but with SW on costs. *A NO WIN* This could be enough to put TW over the edge. (less capacity again)

Additionally, such an improvement in product reduces the strategic advantage in product carriers like Legend and Midwest Express have over full coach on AA. Also, it reduces the advantage of having more seats in first class for full fare upgrades...a la TWA.

In conclusion, looking at the big picture consequences of such a that the revolution will bring, I believe AA will win no matter what....certainly the spirit of CrAAndall is AAlive AAnd well, no mAAtter whAAt he sAAid in the pAAst.

Love to hear everyone's thoughts! Thank you.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:24 am

This is great and all, but AA will have to take out more than 2 rows of seats on the entire aircraft if they want to increase the seat pitch by their 4-6" "new" standards. The calculations are as follows:

For 36" pitch, the airline must take out one row of seats per 6 rows onboard (This, of course, only applies to Economy).

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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:07 pm

There are a number of differences between AA's attempt and that of TWA's. If memory serves me, TWA was reorganizing under bankruptcy. They had a fiscal image problem that a little bit of extra leg room wasn't going to improve. That, and cash flow problems probably kept them from sticking with the experiment long enough to capture market share.

But, a more important element that will likely make AA's move successful, when TWA tried this, the federal government wasn't running around threatening the airlines with a passengers' bill of rights.
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AA Claiming The Credit

Fri Feb 04, 2000 12:19 pm

It is interesting that this is getting so much attention on the news. When UA did this I didn't see anything about it on TV. But when AA did it, info about it was on Today, Nightly News, 5news, 6news, and presummably on the 10news. Why is AA getting all this credit for what UA started?
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Fri Feb 04, 2000 4:13 pm

AA, IMHO, has always had *incredible* marketing, whereas UA's marketing has always been either: a) non-existent, or b) downright silly.
And there you have it.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 4:28 pm

What a great change!
Hopefully all competitors will be forced to do the same!

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:15 pm

Together with the two seat-rows per plane there also goes some weight away, maybe this leads to some 1000 gallons kerosin-savings per year for their entire fleet.

RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:18 pm

Another possible reason why American may have gotten more press, besides their better marketing, is that their plan will actually benefit the "common man". While United only improved their product for the special customers, they have left most passengers, infrequent travelers who pay discounted fares, out of the loop. Since American is improving its product for everyone in the main cabin, it is of more interest to the traveling public.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Sat Feb 05, 2000 3:44 am

Isn't that nice to hear?
I haven't read anyone's reply yet but I thing it's a good thing. The load factors will rise more easily because there are now fewer seats to fill and people will enjoy the extra leg room. Next week, American will introduce the first 129-seat Super 80. They've already increased the First Class cabin from 14 to 20 seats on the Super 80, not all of them but you'll most likely see that in you fly on an MD-80 from ORD to LGA or DFW, or DFW to LGA...I think.
Anyway, I'm pleased to hear this. I'm looking forward to see the new Super 80's with the new seats and cabin layout. American is also planning to do this on other aircraft types.

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FLY777UAL - Why 2 Rows Is Enough

Sat Feb 05, 2000 5:06 am

You would not need to pull out one row for every six to achieve this. The new standard pitch will likely be 34", which is 2" more than most seats have now. To accomplish this, AA needs remove only one row per 17 rows (1 row pulled=32" extra space... divided by 16 remaining rows= 2" per row.) Even going to a 35" pitch would require removing only one row per 10-11 rows (again, 1 row=32", divide by remaining rows= about 3" per row.) To get the 36" pitch that will be one some planes, then, will require removing 1 row per 9 rows (32" extra divided by eight remaining rows= 4" extra per row= 36" total.) The 777 has only 20 rows in the main cabin, meaning that AA can increase pitch by 3" if they remove one row. The 738 also has only 21 rows, and I don't know whether they will increase pitch on seats that already have more, such as emergency exit rows. These are just two examples of how removing only 2 rows of seats will be a substantial improvement.
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Sat Feb 05, 2000 5:36 am

The downside of fewer seats is that you will almost never have the center seat empty. So those large, fat and/or obese people with their rolls of fat falling into your personal space will still be a problem.

You may be able to stretch your legs, but you'll still have elbow room problems when you either eat or use your personal computer. has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
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RE: American To Add More Leg Room In Coach

Sat Feb 05, 2000 9:56 am

Same story, just the dates, and names are changed. This has been done before, and it will be done again. In a few years some guy will say hay, lets put more seats on the airplane and charge less money, and we'll fill the airplane and make money. Then everyone in the board room will say wow, what a smart ideal. You wait, and see!!!
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RE: For Those "large" People

Sat Feb 05, 2000 11:18 am

Everyone always asks me, a 220 lb. 6'2 bandmember why I'm not on the football team, since I have the physique and the skills (I'm not because I enjoy marching too much. I play the clarinet). I have always prefered the MD-80 over the 737 because it seems to me that it has both greater seat width and a little bit more leg room (comparing the Delta 732 and 733 with the MD-88). I would love the extra legroom, but I simply need more seat width too. I'm not really all that bulky, but my shoulders/arms always touch the person I'm sitting next to. I really don't mind, but some of them might. Unfortunately, AA, DL, and UAL will fly to hell and back before they order 5 abreast 737/757s.

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